Thursday, October 22, 2015

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

I really love this recipe for spaghetti sauce because it is easy, tasty, and cans well. Because it is a crockpot recipe it will cook overnight or while I'm at work, and then I am able to can it when I have the time. The original recipe, from which I adapted this one, can be found here. I would encourage you to please visit the site and leave a good review, as I like to give credit to those who did the "leg work" and came up with a good recipe to begin with. I adapted the recipe to omit the meat, doubled the recipe and made it a bit more saucy, so that it would be easier to can and to open up the options for what I could eat it with.

Here's the recipe I used:

2 medium onions, chopped
4 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
2 cans (8 oz) tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp brown sugar
8-10 cloves minced garlic
4 tsp dried basil
4 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
2 tsp thyme
Lots of ground black pepper (I don't measure, I just grind!)
A few dashes of hot sauce, if I'm feeling like a spicy sauce

Please note that I have a pretty big crock pot. If your crock pot is smaller, you can make a half batch pretty easily. Start off by dumping in all of your tomato products.

Add in all your seasonings, garlic and brown sugar. The only thing that should be left out until the very end is the bay leaves. Don't put those fellows in just yet!

Mix it all together really well before you put the onions in. That way it is easier to blend your tomato paste in. If you don't blend the tomato paste in, it can stick to the side or bottom of the crock pot and burn.

Chop up your onions. You don't need to worry about chopping it up super fine, or even uniformly. We're going to use a stick blender on this beautiful mess at the end!

Stir in your onions, add your bay leaves, put a lid on it, and turn it to low. You'll want this to cook for about 8 hours. Did you notice that I left the bay leaves sticking out just a tiny bit?

Once your 8 hours are up, snag those bay leaves out and find your stick blender. It's a lot easier to find the bay leaves if you leave just the tip sticking out of the sauce. Whatever you do, don't forget to pull out the bay leaves. Believe me, it's not great if you forget.

Using your stick blender, grind your sauce up until it's nice and smooth. I like a saucy sauce, but if you like yours a bit more chunky, you can just blend a little, or you can skip it altogether. If you are planning on canning this sauce, turn your slow cooker to warm while you get your jars and rings together. This is the recipe I used in my instructional post Food Preservation - The Basics of Canning.